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Trinity University

Publication Date

Fall 12-1-2014

Program Name

Argentina: Social Movements and Human Rights


The theoretical framework behind drug trafficking has thus far failed to mention the relationship between the growth of narcotics trafficking and structural violence. Using Farmer’s structural violence and the Foucauldian concept of biopolitcs, this paper explains the recent growth of narcotics trafficking in Rosario, Argentina. A more holistic approach to the complexity of the drug trafficking phenomenon arises by analyzing the effects of governmental corruption, relaxed politics, the criminalization of the poor, and the recent economic boom. Though this phenomenon is rather recent, the governmental and civilian resistance has none the less mobilized. Taking the theories of Farmer and Galtung through the lens of Foucault’s biopolitics and biopower, yields a new concept defined as disciplined violence. Though disciplined violence plagues the city of Rosario, the growth and persistence of narcotics trafficking has the potential to disintegrate in the wake of resilient social resistance. The accumulation of social movements, sports clubs, and social organizations creates an environment where the government is no longer the sole source of change for social phenomenon. Rather, the civilians are the mechanisms to fight the disciplined violence being forced upon specific populations in Rosario. In this case study, Bourdieu’s concept of symbolic power is therefore challenged, though by no means void, when referring to a community’s ability to socially resist the displaced violence perpetrated by the upper social class. Thus unlike other examples of structural and symbolic violence, Argentina’s social resistance potentially defies previous case studies on domination imposed by the state.


Civic and Community Engagement | Criminology | Criminology and Criminal Justice | Inequality and Stratification | International and Area Studies | Latin American Studies | Rural Sociology | Social Control, Law, Crime, and Deviance | Work, Economy and Organizations


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